The local economy is showing signs of recovery with Council reporting a decline in the number of ratepayers seeking financial assistance.
In March 2020 the number of requests for financial assistance increased rapidly after the COVID-19 State of Emergency was announced. As a measure to manage a potential financial hardship, Council introduced a COVID-19 Rates Financial Assistance Program.
“The temporary Rates Financial Assistance Program meant that Council was able to provide an extra level of support during the pandemic,” Mansfield Shire Mayor Mark Holcombe said. “We anticipated that ratepayers could experience financial hardship, and wanted to ensure there was support available. The Program benefited many ratepayers.”
The Program was extended in June 2020 through to 31 December 2020 due to the ongoing economic suppression resulting from Victoria’s second lockdown.
Although requests for financial assistance have returned to pre COVID levels and the program has now ended, ratepayers who have outstanding debt as of 1 January 2021 still have financial support options.
“We understand that everyone’s circumstances are different and some people may still be feeling the effects of COVID-19,” said Mayor Holcombe. “We encourage ratepayers to contact Council’s Revenue team if you have any concerns with paying your rates. Council staff are there to support you and help you work through tough times,” he said.
Ratepayers experiencing concerns about their ability to pay their rates are encouraged to contact Council on 5775 8555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.